|Chapter Number||XXVI - XXVIII|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
By the author of "Lady Hutton'» Ward," _o.
TjADT BABLE thought her son looked graver and sadder that day than ho had over looked. She had not the due to his reflections ; she did not know how he was haunted by the thought of the handsome, gallunt young man who must be his heir, how ho legrotted that no son of jua would over succeed him, how proud ho .ffould have boon of a son like Lionel ' He had but two children, and thoy must aoino day loavo EorleBCourt for homos of their own. The grand old home, the fair domain, muat all paBS into the boDds of strangers, unlosa Lionel married one of tho beautiful girls ho loved so dearly
Lady Helena understood a httlo of what was
m his mind when ho told hor he had mot Lionel Daore, who was coming to dmo with them that day
11 mod to hope Beatrice might like him," «aid Lady Earle , ' but that will never bo Lord Airlie has beon too quick I hopo he will not fall m l°Te wltu ker, it would only ond in disappointment "
" He may like Lillian," eaid Lord Earle
1 Yes," rophed Lady Helena " Sweet Lilly ' _Bho IB BO pure and fair, I never think of earthly love lu connection with hor "
If (hey both marry, mother," said Ronald, sadly, ' we shall be qmto alone "
Yes, ' she replied, " quito alone ," and tho words smoto her with pain She looked at the handsome face, with its ead, worn expression Was life indeed all over for her boy ?-at the age, too, when other men sunnod themselves m happincaa, when a loving wifo should havo graced his home, cheered and consoled lum, shared hia Borrows, crownod his life with love lu the midst of his wealth and prosponty, how lonely he was < Could it bo possible that one act of dieobcdienco entailed such sad conso quenees ? Ah, if yoars ago Ronald had listened to reason, to wise and tendel counsol-if ho had but given up Dora, and married Valentine Charteris, how difforcnt hie life would havo been how filled with blessings, replete with happinees, and free from caro!
Lady Earle's eyes grew dim with tears as these thoughts passed through her mind bho went up to him and luid her hand upon his
Ronald," Bho said, " I will do my best to make home happy, aftor our bonnie birds aro caged For your sake, my sou, I wish things
had beon different "
' Hush, mother '" ho replied, gently, words are ull useless I must reap as I have sown, the fruits of disobedience and deceit could never beget happmes I shall always believe that evil doods bring their own punish mont Do not pity mo , it unnorvesme loan bear my fate "
Lady Helena was pleased to see Lionel again Sho had always liked him, and rejoiced now m hiB glorious manhood Ho Btood before the two sisters, half dazzled with their beauty The fair faces smiled upon him , pretty, whito hand were outstretched to meet Ina own.
I am bowildered by my good fortune," ho aaid ' I shall bo tho envy of every man in London, people will no longor call me Lionel Dacro, I shall be known as the cousin of ' LOB DemoiBellos Earle ' I havo neither brothor nor sister of my own Fancy tho happiness of falling into the midst of a family group '"
"And being mado welcome there," mtor ruptcd Beotrice
Lionel bowed profoundly At first ho fancied ho preferred this brilliant, beautiful girl to her fair, gentío sister Her frank, fcarlces word6 dohghted him After the general run of young ladies-all faBhionod, ho thought, upon one model-it was refreshing to meet her Her thoughts, words, and ldous were all original and eloquent
Lord Airlie joinod the httlo dinner party, and then Lionel Dacro read the secret, which Bea- trice hardly owned even to heieelf.
" I shall not be shipwrecked on that rock," ho aaid to himself " Whon Beatrice Earle speaks to me ker eyes meet mino, sho smiles, and does not seem afraid of me; whon Lord Airlie speaks she turns from him, and her beautiful oyea droop. Consequently," pursued tbo honoBt joung heir, " I imagine she careB moro for him
than for oil the world beBidcB "
But, after a time, tho fair spiritual loveliness of Lillian stole into hu heart. There was this difference between the two sisters Beatrice
took ono by storm, BO to speak. Her magnifi- cent beauty und queenly grace dazzled and charmed, nor did the charm grow loss ; it was a complete and perfect surrender.
With Lillian it was different. Eohpsed at first Bight by her moro brilliant Bister, her fair beauty grew upon one by degrees. The sweet spiritual face, the thoughtful brow, tho deep dreamy eyeB, tho golden ripples of hair, the noblo ethenal expression on the calm featureB, seemed gradually to reveal their charm. Many who at first overlooked Lillian, thinking only of her brilliant BiBter, ended by believing her to be tho most brilliant of the two.
They stood together that evening, the two sister«!, in the presence of Lord Airlie and Lionel Dacro Beatrice had boen singing, and the fragrant summer air secmod still to vibrate with the music of her passionate voice.
" You sing like a Biron," said Mr. Dacro ; he felt no diffidence in offering so old a compliment to his kinswoman. k
"No," replied Beatrice, "I may Bing well in fact, I believe I do. My heart is full of music, and it overflows on my lips ; but I am no airen, Mr. Dacre. No one over heard of a siren with dusky hair and dark brows like
" I should have said, you sing like cn en- chantress," interposed Lord Airlie, hoping that ho was apter m his compliment.
" You would have been equally wrong, my lord," Bhe replied, but abo did not laugh at him
as Bhe had done at Lionel. " If I were an en- chantress," she continued, " I should just wave ?ay wand, and that vase of flowers would come
to me ; as it is, I must go to it. Who can have arranged those flowers? They have been troubling mo for the last half hour "
She crossed the room, and rook from a Bmall side table an exquisite vaae filled with blossoms.
"See," she enod, turning to Lionel,white heath, white roses, white lülieB, intermixed with these palo gray flowers ! There is no character in such an arrangement. Watch the difference which a glowing pomegranate blossom or a scarlet Terbenn will make "
" You do not like such quiet harmony ?" said Lionel, smiling, thinking how characteristic the
little incident waB
'No," she replied: "¿rve me grand and aignifloent contrast-force, fire, energy. Many
years of my life were gray-colored, and I longed for a dash of scarlet in its threads."
" You have it now," said Mr. Dacro, quietly.
" Yes," she said, as Bhe turned her beautiful bright face to him, " I havo it now, novor to lose it again "
Lord Airlie, looking on and listening drinking in every word that foil from hor lips, wondered
if lovo was the scarlet thread interwoven with hor life He sighed deeply as he said to him- self that it could not be, this brilliant girl could nover care for him Beatrice heard tho aigh, and turued to him.
" Does your taste resemblo mino, Lord Airlie ? ' she aekod " Do you not prefer every- thing grand and Btnking ? '
" I ?" interiupted Lord Airlie-" I like what- ever you like, Miss Earle "
"Yourself beat of all," whiepored Lionel, with a broad smile
AB Mr Dacro walked home that evening, ho thought long and anxiously about the two young girls, his kinswomen What was tho mystery ? ho uBkod himBolf-what skoleton was looked away in that gay mansion? Where was Lord Earlo's wife-tho lady who ought to havo been at the head of his table-the mother of his childion? Wheio was ehe? Why washer place empty? Why was her huBband'a face
shadowed and hnod with caro ?
" Lillian Earle 13 the fairest and sweetest girl I haye ever mot," ho said to himBolf " I know thero is dangor for mo in those Bwcot, true eyeB, but if thero bo anything wrong-if tho mother is not what she should bo-I will fly from the danger I believe m hereditary virtue and in hereditary vico Beforo I fall in love with Lillian I muBt know her mother's story "
" So he said, and ho meant it, but thero was no means of urnving at tho knowlcdgo The girls spoke at times of their mothor, and it was always with deep love and roapoct Lady Holona montioued her, but her name never passed the lips of Lord Earlo Lionel saw no way of obtaining information in the matter.
There was no concealment as to Dora's abode Once, hy special privilcgo, ho was in- vited into the protty room whero tho ladies sat in the morning-a cosy, cheerful room, into which visitors nover penetrated lhere, upon the wall, ho saw a picture framod, a beautiful landscape, u quiot homestead in the midst of rich green moadows , and Lillian tola him, with a smile, that waa " The Elms," at Knutsford, " where mamma lived "
Lionel « ia too true a gentleman to nsk why she lived there, ho praised tho painting, and turned tho subject
As Lady Fnrlo foresaw, the timo Imd arrived when Dora's ohildren partly understood there was a division in tho family, a breach nover to be healed " Mamma was quite different from papa," thoy said to each other, and Lady Helona told them their mother did not like fashion and gaiety, that she had boon Biinply brought up, used always to quietness and solitude, so that in all probability she would never come to
But as timo went on, and Beatrice bogan to understand more of the groat world, ehe had an instinctive idea of the truth It came to hor by slow degrees Her father bod married beneath him, and her mother had no homo in the stately hullB of Eurloscourt At first violont indignation soizod her, then calmer reflection told her she could not judge correctly She did not know whothor Lord Earlo had loft his wife or whothor hor mothor had refused to live with him
It was tho first cloud that shadowed the hfo of Lord Earlo's beautiful doughtor The dis oovery did not diminish her love for the quiot, sad mothor, whoBO youth und beauty had faded so soon If possible, sho lovod her moro, thero was a pitying tendernosBin hor uffeetion.
" Poor mamma," thought the young girl, " poor, gentle mamma ' I muBt bo doubly kind to her, and love hoi bettor than over "
Dora did not understand how it happened that her beautiful Boatrice wrote so constantly and so fondly to her,-how it happened that woek after weok costly prosontB found their way
to " Tho Elms "
" The child muBt Bpond all her pooket money on me " sho »aid to herself " How well and denrlj sho loves mo, my boautiful Beatrice !"
Lady Helena romomherod tho thirsting of tho mother s love She pitied the lonely, unloved wife, doprivcd of husband and children. She did aU in her power to consoló her She wroto long lottere, telling Dora how greatly her children wcro admired, and how she should like their mother to witness their triumph She told her how many conquests Beatrice had made, and how the proud and exclusive Lord Airlie lingered noar her, and that Beatrice of her own fancy liked him better than any one olee
" Neither Lord Earle nor myBolf could havo wished a more brilliant futuro for Beatrice," wroto Lady Helena " AB Lady Airlie, of Lynn ton, she will be placed as her birth nnd beauty
But evon Lady Helena was startled whon Bho read Dora's despairing reply It was a wild prayer that her child should bo saved-spared the deadly perils of love and marriage, left to enjoy her beautiful youth
" There IB no happy love," wrote poor Dora " and never can be. Men cannot be patient, gentle and true It is still self they worship , Belf reflected in the woman they love Oh, Lady Helena, let my child bo spared Let no eo called love come near her Love found mo out in my humble homo and wrecked all my life Do not let my bright Boatnco suffer as I havo done I would rather fold my darlings in my arms and he down with them to die, than live to see them pass through the cruel mockery of love and sorrow which I have endured Lad) Helena, do not laugh, your letter distressed mc I dreamed last night, after reading it, that I was placing a wedding Ted on my darling's head when, as it fell around her, it changed suddenh into a shroud A mother's love is true, and mino tells mo that Beatrico ia in danger "
"I HATE been abroad long enough," soid Lord Earle, in reply to a remark made by Lady Helena, " The girls do not care for the sea ; Beatric dislikes it even ; BO I think we cannot do better than return to Earloecourt. It may not bo quite fashionable, but it will be very
",Ye8," said Lady Earle, " there is no placel love BO well as home ; wo owe our neighbors something, too. I am almost ashamed when I remember how noted Earlescourt once was for its gay and pleasant hospitality. We must introduce the girls to our neighbors. I can foresee quite a cheerful winter."
" Let us finish with summer, and get over
autumn," said Ronald, with a emile ; " then wo 11 can look the winter bravoly in the face. I sup- Í pose, mother, you can guoBS who has managed 3 to procure an invitation to Earloscourt ?"
" Lord Airho ?" asked Lady Helena.
" Sa," was the laughing reply ; " it did mo t good, mother , it made mo feel young and happy again to BOC and hear him. His hand-
some, frank face clouded when I told him we ] wcro going. Then ho sighed over London,- t said it would bo like a desert,-declurod he could not go to Lynton, tho place was full of work- people Ho did not like Scotland, and was as homcloss us a wealthy young peer with several estates could well bo. I ullowcd him to bewilder himself with confuBod OXCUBCB and blunders, thou askod him to join us at Earloscourt He utmost 'jumped for joj,' as the children say. Ho will follow us in a weok or ton urns. Lionel will come with UB "
" I am very pleased," said Lady Eurie. "Next to you, Ronald, I lovo Lionol Ducio j hie frank, proud, fearless disposition lias a great charm for me Ho is certainly like Beatrice How ho detests everything mean and falso, just
aa she does '"
" Yes," said Ronald, gravely, " I am proud of my children. There is no taint of untruth or deceit thoro, mothor,-thoy aro worthy of thou race I considor Beatrice tho most uoblo end grandest woman I ovor knew , und lleno my sweet Lilly j ust UB well "
" You would not like to part with thom now ?" said Lady Earlo.
" I would Boonor part with my life," he replied. " I uni not given to strong expressions, mothor, but oven you could nover guosB how my life is bound up in theirs."
" Then lot me spout, ouo word, Ronald," said his mother,-" remember Dora lovos thom as dearly and deoply UB you do J"ust think for a moment what it has coBt her to givo thom up to you ' She must BOC thom soon, with your full consont and permission. Thoy can go to hor, if you will."
" You are right, mothor," ho said, after a few minutos. " They ure Dora's children, and she ought to see thom , but they must not return to thut farm-houBO,-I cannot bear tho thought of it. Surely thoy can moot on noutral ground, at your house, say, or in London ¡ and lot it bo ut Christmas."
"It had botter bo m London," said Lady Helena. I will write to Dora, and tell her. The vory anticipation of it will make her happy until tho timo arrives ; Bho lovos hor children so dearly."
And again a softened thought of Dora carno to her husband Of courao sho loved thom Tho little villa at Floronco rose beforo lum , ho Buw vividly, ns though ho bad left it but yester- day, the pretty vino shaded room whoro Dora used to sit, nursing tho httlo onos. Ho rcmoni bored her sweot pationco, her novor-fuihng, gentle love Hud he dono right to wound that sad heart afresh by taking those children from her? WUB it a just and fitting roward for the watchful lovo and caro of those lonely years ?
Ho would finn havo pardonod her, but ho could not ; and he said to himself nguiu, " In thu hour of death '-I will forgivo her then "
The glowing August, BO hot and dusty in London, was liko a dream of beauty ut Earles court. Tho tall trees gave graceful shelter, buffling the sun's warm rays ; tho golden corn stood in tho broad fields roady for the Bicklo ; tho hedgerows wore filled with flowers, the beech trees in the park » ere in full pcrfootion. Fruit hung npo and hoavy in tho orchards. It wuB no longer the blossom and promiso of spring, but the perfection uud glow of summer.
For many long years Earlescourt had not boon ?0 gay. The wholo country Bido rang with fashionable intolligonco. Tho houso was filled with viBitors, Lord Airho heading the list Lionel Ducre, thinking but little of the tuno when tho grand old place would bo his own, was full of life an 1 spirits
A long arrear of hoepitahtioB and festivities had to be repaid to the neighborhood Beatrice
and Lillian had to mnko thoir debut thero
Lady Helena decided upon commoncmg tho pro- gramme with a grand dinner party, to be fol- lowed by a ball in the ovemng. Ronald said something about the weather being warm for dancing. Beatrice undortook the reply
"Wo danced in London, papa," sho said, "when the heat was so great that 1 should havo felt no surpriflo if tho wholo room full of people had dissolved. Hore wo havo spuco, large cool roomB, fresh air, a conservatory UB largo as a London houso, it will be child's play in com- parison to what wo have done "
" MIBS Earle is quito right," said Lord Airlie ; " a ball during tbo season in London is a toil P hero it would bo nothing but pleasure."
"Then n ball lot it be," Baid Lord Earlo "Lillian, you write as charmingly as you draw, make out a list of invitations, and hoad it with Sir Harry and Lady Lawrence That reminds me their eldest son Gaspar carno homo yesterday from Germany ¡ do rot forget to include him."
" Little Gaspar," cried Lady Helena ; " has ho returned ? I Bhould like to see him."
" Littlo GaBpar," Baid Lord Earle, " is six feet high now, mother. You forgot bow time flies ¡ he is taller than Lionel, and a fine handsome yoting man he IB He will bo quite an acqui-
Lord Earlo was too muoh ongroBfled to re- mark the uneasiness his few words had caused. Lord A rl e winced at the idea of a rival j a handBomo man, and sentimental also, as all those people educated in Germany are !
" I cannot understand what posseseos English people tojBend their sonB abroad for education," he said to Beatrice,-" and to Germany of all places in tho world."
" What IB the matter with it ?" she askod.
" The people aro BO absurdly sentimental," ho replied ; " whenever I Bee a man with long hair and dreamy eyes, I know he IB a German."
" You are unjust," said Beatrice, ae ehe left him to join Lillian.
" You are jealous," said Lionel, who had overheard the conversation. " Look out for a rival in the lists, my lord."
" I wish this tiresome ball wcro over," sighed Lord Airlie. " I shall havo no chance of Bpoak ing while it is on the tapis."
But he soon forgot his chagrin. Tho formid able Gaspar appeared that very morning, and although Lord Airlie could perceive that ho fell at first sight hopelessly in love with Beatrice, he also saw that she paid no heed whatever to the new-comer; indeed, after a fow words of corteoua greeting, Bhe returned to the point m discussion-what flowers would look best in the ball-room.
I " If we havo flowers at all," she said, impcn
i ously, " let them bo a gorgeouB mass of bloom
I -something worth looking at j not a few pale ' bloisomi standing here and there like ' white
sentinels,' let us havo flowers full of life and fragrance. Lillian, you know what I mean, you romomber Lady Manton's flowers-tier aftor t or of magnificent colors."
"You like to do everything en reine, Bea trice," said Lady Helena, with a well plcoBed
" If you have not flowers sufficient, Miss Earlo," said Lord Airho, " I will sond to Lynn ton My gardener oouBidora himBolf a paBt
master of his art "
' My door Lord Airho," said Lady Earlo, " wo havo flowers in profusion You have not been through tho consorvutoriee, it would whilo away tho moruing ploaBantly for you all Beatrice, select what flowers 3 ou will, and havo thurn arranged as you like "
" Seo, ' said that triumphant beuutj, " what a graud thing a strong will ia I Imagino papa's saying he thought thirty or forty plants in full flower would bo sufiioiont Wo will surpriso hmi If tho gardoncr loses his reason, us Lady Earle seems to think probable, ho must bo taken
care of "
Lord Airho loved Beatrice best in those moods, imperious and piquant, melting sud- denly into httlo gloams of tondornesB, then tak- ing rofugo in icy coldness or sunny laughter Beautiful, dizzhng, capricious as a queen, chaugiug almost ovory minuto, yet chaimnig us she changed, ho would not have bartored ono of her proudest smiles or least words for anything
Ho uovor forgot that morning among the flowers It was a glimpse of paradiao to him Tho way m which Beatnoo contrivod to do as sho liked amused him, hor faco looked fuiror than ever amongst tho blooming fio« era
" Thero IB tho bell for lunch," sho said at last " Wo haio boon hore nearly throo boura "
" Moat of your attendants look slightly do ranged," auld Lionel " I am sure I Baw poor Donald weeping ovor his favorito plants Ho told mo confidentially thoy would bo fit for nothing ttftoi tho heat of tho bull room "
" I shall invent BOUIO moana of consolation for
him," sho rophod " I Uko dancing amongst bright flowers Why should wo not havo everything gay and bright and hoautiful, if wo
*' Why not ? ' said Lionel, gravely , " ah, Miss Earlo, why aro wo uot ulwuj a j oung and beautiful and happy ? why must flowers d10, boauty fade, love grow cold ? Ask a philoBO phor, do not ask mo I know tho answer, but lot some 0110 oleo givo it to you "
" Philosophy doos not mterost mo at proseut," sho said " I hko flowors, musio, and dancing bettor I hope I shall nover tiro of thora, sometimes-but that is only when I am sorious or tired-I fool that I shall nover hvo to grow old I cannot imagine my oyes dim, or mj hair gray I cannot imagino my hourt bealing slowly I cannot reahao a day whon tho warmth und beauty of life will havo changod into eomothing cold and dull "
And even as sho Bpoko a gentío arm stole round hor, a fuir epintuul face, oyes full of clour holy light lookod into hers, and a soft volco whispered to her of something, not earthly, not of flowers and music, not of life and gaiety, something far beyond thoso, and tho proud oyoa for a moment grow dim with tears
" Lilly," sho said, " I am not so good as you, but I will ondouvor to bo Lot mo on]oy my solf first, just for a short timo , I will bo good,
Hoi mood chauged thou, and Lord Airho thought hor moro beautiful than cvor
" lhat is tho kind of wifo I want," thought Lionel Dacro to himself, looking at Lilhun, " some 0110 to guide mo, to teach Ali, if women only knew then mieeiou! That girl lookod as I can imagino guardian angolB look, I wish sho would bo mino "
Lord Airho loft tho conservatory with its thousands of flowors, moro in love than over " Ho would wait," ho said to himBolf, " until tho ball was ovor, then ho would ask Beatrice Earlo to bo his wifo If BIIO refused him, ho would go far away whore no 0110 know lum , if sho accepted him, ho would lavish happiness upon her She should bo a quoon, and ho would bo her knight
Ah, if it might ho, what thanks would ho roturn to hoavon if so groat a blessing should
bo his <
LOED AIELIE muttered something that was not a benediction, whon, on tho morning follow ing, Gaspar Lawrence made his appoaranco at
" Wo cannot do with viBitors this morning," said Beatrice, half impatiently. " Mr Lawronce must have forgotten tho ball to night "
But Mr Lawroneo had forgotton nothing of tho kind It was a delicious morning, the sun shining brightly and clearly, tho perfumed breeze blowing fresh and cool Ho had thought it likely that tho young ladiCB would Bpond tho morning out of doors, and beggod permission to join them
Lady Earlo was plcaBcd with tho idea Lord Airlie mentioned something about fatigue, but ho was ovcrrulod
" Stroll in tho grounds," said Lady Holena, " go down by tho lake, I will afterwards join you there A fow hours in this beautiful air will bo the best preparation for the ball "
They wont together GaBpar's preference soon became quite apparent ; be did not leave Beatrice, and Lord Airlie devoutly wishod him at the antipodes
They sat down under tho shade of a tall lady birch, the deep, sunlit lake, shining through tbo trees Then Gaspar, taking a little book m his hands, asked,
" Havo you read ' Undine,' MISB Earle ? Fouquc's 'Undine'?"
" No," she replied, "lum half ashamed to Bay so "
"It IB the sweoteBt, saddest story ever written," he continued " Tina is, just the morning for it May I read it to y ou ?"
There was a general and plesBod murmur of
assent Lord Airlie murmured to himeclf that " ho knew the fellow would air his Gorman senti meDt-at their expense "
Still it was very pleasant There was a gentle ripple on the deep lake, the water washed amongst the tall reeds, and splashed with a faint musical murmur on the stones, the thick, leafy branches rustled m the wind ; tbo birds Bang m the trees
Gaspar Lawrenco read well, his voice was clear and distinct, not a word of tho beautiful story was lost
Beatrice listened like one in a dream. Her proud, bright face softened, hor magnificent eyes grew tender, and half Bad. Gaspar read on-of the fair and lovely maiden, the mu
chiovouB sprite, of the handsomo young knight and his love, of tho water sprite, grim old Kuhloborn, and the cottage where Undine dwelt of the knight's marriage, then of proud,
Tho rippling of tho lake and tho Binging of tho birds seemed like an uceompamment to tho wonderful words, eo full of pathoB Then carno Bertha's lovo for tho knight,-their murnoy on tho nvei When the hugo hand risos and snatches tho jowcl from Undine's soft lingers, tho knight's love grows cold.
Even the waters of the lako seemed to <
and sigh as Gaspar road on of sweet, sad Undine, and her unhappy love,-of Berthas proud tiiumph, her marriogo with tho knight, aud the last, most beautiful scone of all, when Undino rises from tho unBealcd fountain, and goes to claim his love.
" How beautiful '" said Boatnco, drawing a long, deep bl catii " I did not know thoro wus such a stoiy in tho world That is indeed a creation of gonius I shall nover forgot Un | dino '
Hor cyoi wandored to tho sweet spiritual face and fair golden hair of her sister Lionel Dacro'a glauco followed hors
" I know what you aro thinking of," ho said, -" Misa Lillian is a perfect Undine I can fancy her, with olasped hunda and sad ojoa, standing between the knight and Bertha, or rising with shadowy robes from tho opon foun-
"It is a beautiful creation," said Beatrice gently " Lillian » ould bo Undino,-BIIO IB j ust us gentío, as fuir and true I am like Bertha, I suppoBO , at least I know I prefer my own way and my own will "
" You should givo some artist a eommisBion to paint a picture,'1 said Lord Airho " Choose tho scono in the boat,-Undine bonding over the wutcr, a dreamy expicssion on hor fuir face, Bertha Bitting by tho knight, proud, bright, und hnlf Bcornful of her companion Imagino tho transparent wator,-Undmo's httlo hand half lost in it, and tho giant fingers clasping hers I wonda (hat an aitiathaa never painted that
"Who would do for tho knight?" Baid Boa trice " Lillian und I will novor disputo over a knight "
" Artists would find somo difficulty in that picturo," aaid Lillian , " how could ono clotho a beautiful ideal Uko Undine ? Swooping robos and waving plumes might suit Bertha, but who could paint Undino m a bonnet ?"
"Tho knight IB tho diflieulty," laughed
" Why should wo not go upon tho lake now ?" said Guspar " I will row "
" I havo boen wiBhing for the last ton inmutes," replied Boatnco, " to bo upon tho lake 1 want to put my hand in the wator and
soo what comes "
Gaapur was not long in gottiug tho pretty pleasure boat out of the boat houso Lionel m united to souuio a Beat near his Undino, and Lord Airho by Boatnco
It w is evon mort ploasnnt on tho wator than on tho land, tho boat moved easily along, tho frosh clear brcczo holpmg it
' Steer for thoso wutor lilies," said Beatrice , " thoy look so fresh and Bhinmg m tho sun "
And as thov iloatod over the wator, hor thoughts wont back to that May morning when Lillian sat upon the chile und sketched the white foi oil sails How distant it seemed I She lunged then for life Now every beautiful and bountiful gift which hfo could bestow was hers, downed with lovo Yet alio sighed UB Hugh Ecriiely's face rope beforo her If sho could but forget it, aftor all, it hud boon on hor sido hut a mockery of lovo Sho hud nothing to four Yot another Bigh rippled ovor tho proud lips, und thon Lord Airlie lookod anxious!) ut
" DOOB anything trouble you, Miss J urie ? ' ho ttBkod "I uevor rcmombor Boeing)ou so
serious before "
She looked for a moment wistfully into his faco Ah, if ho could help hor, if ho could drivo this haunting memory from hor, if ovor it could bo that sho might tell lum of this hoi trouble and ask him to BUVO hor from Hugh Fcrnely , but that waa imposBiblo Almost as though in answor to her thought, Gaspar Law- rence bogan to toll thom somo incident that had impressed bun. A gentleman, u friend of his, aftor making unheard of sacrifices to murry n lady who was both beautiful and accomplished, loft her suddenly, and never san her again, the reason boing that ho discovered sho had do coivcd lum by telling a wilful ho beforo marriage Gaspor seemed to think sho had boen hardly usod Lord Airlie and Lionel differed from him
I um quito suie, ' said Lord Airho, ' that I could pardon anything sooner than a he, all that ia mean, despicablo, and revolting to mo is exprcBSod in that ono word ' har ' Sudden unger, paaBion, not revengo-anything is moro onsily forgiven When I onco diaoovor that a man or worn in haa told mo a ho, I novor care to look in their faco again '
" I agree with you," said Lionel, pei haps I oven go further I would novor purdon un act of docoit, thoso I lovo must bo straightforward, honost, and Bincoro always "
" Such a woight of truth might sink tho boat,' said Beatrice, carelessly, but Lord Airho'fl words had gone straight to her heart If ho only know ! hut ho nover would And again ehe wished that whon hor father aBked that question sho had answorod it truthfully
Tho timo carno whon Lillian romembcrcd Mr. Dacro's words, aud knew thoy had not boen Bpoken in vain
Boatnco had taken off hor glovo and drew her hand through the cool, deep wator, sho waB thinking intontly of tho story she had just heard-of Undine and the water spirits-she leaned over the boat side and gazod into the depths The blue sky and white decoy clouds, the tall green trees and broad leaves, woro all roilectod there. There was a strango, weird fascination in tho placid water, what went on in tho depths beneath, what lay underneath tho npplcB? Suddenly Bho drow buck with a startled ory-a cry that rang out in the clear summer air, and haunted Lord Airlie while be lived Ho lookod at her, her face had grown white, even to the very lips, and a numoloss, awful dread lay in hor dark eycB
"What IB it?" ho upked, breathlessly Sho recovered herself with a violent effort and tried to smile.
"How foolish I am!" shoeaid, "and what is worBe, you will all laugh at me It was sheer fancy and nonsenBe, I know , but I declare that looking down into the water I saw my own face there, with such a wicked, mocking smile, that ¡t frightened mo."
" It was the simple reflection," said Lionel Dacre " I can seo mine i look again, Miss
" No," she replied, with a shudder, " it is only nonsenee, I know, but it startled me. The faco teemed to riso from tho depths and smile,-oh suoh a smilo '-whon shall I forget it ?"
" It was onlv tho rippling of tho wator that distorted the reflection," sjid Lord Airho
Beatrico rnado no reply, but drow hor lnco shawl around her, aa though sho wcro cold
" I do not hko the water," sho said, presently, " it alwoys fnghtena mo Lot us land, Mr Lawronco, please I will novel go on the lako again "
Gaspar laughed, and Mr Dacro declarod Boatnco had bud too Btrong a doso of Undine and the rator spirits Lord Airho folt hor hand tromblo as ho holpod hor to loavo tho boat Ho tried to make hor forgot tho incident by talking of tho ball and tho ploasuro it would bring Sho talked gully, but evory now and then ho saw that sho shuddered UB though icily
Whon thoy were entering the houso, she turnod round, and m her ohnrmiug, nnporious
woy, said -
" Noue of you must toll papa about rav fright I should not hko bim to think an Earle could bo oithor fanciful or a coward I um bravo enough on land "
lhe boat had tnod both girls, and Lady Helena enid thoy must rest buforo diuu»! She rnado Boatnco ho down upon tho cosy httlo couch in hor drossing room Sho watched the duik oyes closo, and thought how beautiful the young faco looked m lepoeo
But tho girl's sloop was troubled Ladj Enilo, bonding ovor hor, hoard hor sigh dooply, and murmur Bomothmg about tho "doop water " She awoko, crying out that sho BOW her own faco, and Lad} Earle auw gtout drops of por spnotion Btunding like hugo pourls upon hei
" What havo you hoon drouming, olnld ?" sho ueked ' Young girls ltko you ought to sloop
hko flowors "
" riowcrs novor quito OIOBO their oyoa," saul
Beatrico, with a smile ' I shut mino, but my I brum ia active, it seems, even m sleep I waa |
dreaming of the luke, Lady Holoua Droania aro vory wonderful Do thoy o\or como true t '
" I know ono that did, ' replied Lady Earle "Whon I was young, I had a fricud whom I loved vory dearly, Laura Reardon A gentle mun, it Captain Lemuel, puid giout attention to hor She lovod him-my poor Laura- as I hopo fow poople lovo lor many months hi did ovoryllmig but niiiko her nu oilor, saw her
oveiy day, sent hor 11 iwors, books, and music, I won hor heart by a thousand sweet words and gontlo doods Sho bohovod ho was in ourncBt and never Buspectod lum of hoing a mulo flirt He left London suddenly, saying good byo to her m tho ordinary way, und Bpoaking of his
rotiirn in a few weeks
She cune to mo one mauling, und told mu ii strange drouin She dreamt sho waa dead, mid lay buriod m the centro aielo df an old coin try church At tho sumo limo, and m tho usual vaguu manner of drouin«, sho was conscious of an unusual stir Sho hoard carriages drive up to the church door, sho hoard tho rustling of dresBos the sound of footstep», ubovo her lund, tho confusod murmur of a crowd of pooplo , then sho became uwnro that u marriage was going on Silo heurd the nnmstor «sk
" 'George Victor Lomuel, will j ou have this woman to be thy lawfulwodded wifuP'
1 lho voice she know and loved best in tho world replied, ' I will '
" ' Ahí o Forars, will you tako this man for your lawful nodded husband?'
" ' I will,' ropliod u cloar low voice
"She heard lho eorvico finished, tho wedding bolle poal tho carriuc/B di ive away I laughed at her Boatnco, but tho Btrango thing is, Cup
tain Goorgo Lomuel was murried on tho very j day Laura dreamt the droain Ho mnrn d a young lady, Ahco F rara, und Lauiu hud nover hoard of tho nanu hoforo sho droumod it lho murringo took piuco in an old country ohuroh That dream carno true, Boatnco, I novor hoard of nnothci dream hko it "
"Did your fnond dio? ' sho asked
" No," rophod Lady He lona, " sho did not d10, hut hor hfo was spoiled by hor unhappy
" I Bhould havo died hud it hoon my disnp pointmmt," said Boatnco, "the IOBB of what ono lovos must bo moro bittor than doath "
Fur and noar nothing was spoken of but tho hall ut Eurlcscourt Anything so brilliant or on BO grund a seule had not been given in tho country for many years
Lord Eurie lookod proud of tho urrangoments us ho lookod through the ball room and saw tho gorgeous array of flowors, tioi after tior of mag nilicont bloom, a Bight well worth coming many milos to soo Here and there a marble etatuo stood amidst the flowors Little fountains of Bcontod wuter rippled musically Ho Btoppod for a fow moments looking ut tho blossoms and thinking of his bouutiful child
' How B!IO loves everything bright and guy I ' ho said to himself "She will bo qucon of tho ball to night "
As Lord Earlo stood ulono in tho well up ¡jointed hbrury that ovoning, whoro ho ha 1 been resting stealing a quiot half hour, thero carno a gontlo knock at the door
" Como in," ho Bald, and thoro stood before him something that ho thought must bo a
"Grandmamma sent mo," said Boatnco, bluBhing, " to aeo if I should do You ure to noto my diamonds, papa, and toll mo if you up prove of the sotting '
As ho looked at tho radiant figure, a sense of wonder stolo ovor lum Could tina magnificent beauty really bo Dora's daughtor?-Dora who had stained her protty hands with strawberry juico so many yearB ago ?
Ho know nothing of tho dotailB of tho dress, ho saw only tho beautiful face and glorious eyes, the crown of waving hair, tho whito, stately neck and exquisite arms Before him was a gleam of palo pink satin, shrouded with lace BO Uno and delicate that it looked hko u fairy web , and tho "Earlo diamonds" woro not brighter than tho dark oyes They became the wearer well. Thoy would havo eclipsed a fair, faded beauty,-they added radiunco to Beatrice's.
" Whoro IB Lillian ?" ho asked, and Bho knew from tbo tone of his voice how proud and
aatieficd ho was
" I am here, papa," said a gentle voico " I wanted you to seo Boatnco first"
Lord Earle hardly knew which to admire most, Lillian looked so fair and graceful, the puro, spiritual face and fondor oyes had new beauty , the Blender, girlish figure contrasted well with the stately dignity of Beatrice
" I hope it will bo a happy evening for you both," he said.
" I feel sure mine will be," said Beatrice, with a smile "I am thoroughly happy, without trouble or caro, and tho ball lies before mo lute a beautiful dream."
Lord Earlo smiled half sadly ns he gazed at her bright face, wondoring whether, in the yeara to come, it would bo clouded or shadowed.
" Will i/oii dance, papa?" aBked Beatrice, with a gleam of mtsohiof m her dark eyes
" I think not," ho rophed, and Ronald Earlo's thoughts went back to the last timo he had over danced , it wos with Vulentino Char- teris Ho remombcred it well Ah, no, all thoso pleasant, happy dava wero over for bim
[TO BF COMIVUED
UNURIIEVTNG -A man, hearing that a raven would live two hundred years, bought one to
test tho ti uth of the assertion.
MUSIC BY THE BAEBEL-The mcaBuros spoken of in music refer generally to time An exception is made in tlio case of hard organs, which furnish music by the barrel
In tho window of a shop in nn obicuro part of Now York ia this announcement -" Goods lcniovcd, messages taken, carpets beaten, and poetry composed on any Bubjoot "
THE QUICKEST WAY -An excited individual accosted a gamin with tho question, " Say, boy, which is the quickest woy for mo to got to tho railway atution ?,' ' Hun," waa the response
AMONO tho questions proposed for diecuseion at a meeting of a debuting club were theso, ''IB it necessary that females shua rescavo n thurry httcrary education ?" " Ort fommls to take part in polytixP"
UNITED -" It is cuaj ouough," said a witty lush orator, " to repeal tho union of tho United Kingdom of Gren* Bntain and Ireland Juat tranaposo twu letters, and thoy become Untied KingdoniB nt onco!"
'lui ONLY IIMB -A trnvellor announces as a foot that ho once in his life beheld pooplo " minding their own biiBinosB " This remarkable occuiroiici huppened at ecu, the passengers being " too Bick " to attend to oach othor's
HEB OWN W IY -A little three year old boy, in attempting to conaolc his mother, who was watching bj the deuthbed of IIIB little sister, enid, " Don t cry, mummil If Nellie wants to die, lot her d10 It'll be BO nico for hor to havo her own «uj just omo!'
NOT it, THAT SPNSE - Ahuabnndhasdcclaiod that ho will sopa ato from hie wifo bocnuse, during his ab«cnco from home, sho wroto to h m to tho effect that tho longci ho stajed away the better she liked lum Slicanje m justification
BIIO did not inenn it 111 that sonso
UNPiiriDDlOhD -lhere ia a difficulty 111 find- ing a |iiry when nu Indian comos beforo tin Omaha cou t One of the panel being usked if ho lind im) pi ejudice, replied, " No , onlj I've bein cliusod by 'em, lu on in eo^orul haltlos with 'em und would hung overj pick of 'em at Bight.
COD Emu OIL-"I should think,' said a ouatomor to a boy in un apothecary's shop, " that they couldn't cutch codfish enough to aupply all tho cod hvor oil that ia «old nowuduys "-' Oh," replied tin boy " you »eo they muko it now out of any ball's lucí und when they can't cot fish onoii >h, dogs and cuta como in splendid '"
LFCIAI QüTsrnis -A pirj waa brought into court, 111 ordi r that one of their number might bo instructed upon th f illowing point of law : -"If I behove that thu uwdenca WUB one way, and the othor cloven believo diffcront, (loos that pislify any other |iirjin 111 111 knocking ino down with a chair?" Thojudgo unswoied m gouorul
A SIN ODiiK -Sir tloylo Roche, in wordy conflict with Curran in the Irish Houso of Coinmoi s, made flomo allusion to Curran, honor ' Su,' «aid Con an, ' do not spouk of my honor, I um tho guardian of my own honor" "Faith" s ml Sir Hoylo, "I know that somo time or oilier you would aocopt a
Pornr TO Tnr TAST-" My dourest uncle," says a humorous, writer, " WUB tho moat pohto mun m tho word Ho WIIB making a vojngo on the Danube, mid the boat Blink My unolc wa» ]UBt on the point of di owning no got Ina ¡load above water for onco, took off bia hat, and said, 'Ludios mid gentlemen, will you pienso
1 xeuse mo ?' nnd down ho went "
DmiiNO u trial at Wi simulator tho presiding pidgo ititirruptod 11 lilly who was (Mviiig hor testimony, and rimarkeri that her statements wnro irnloinnt, wboi upon sim bridled up, and oxcluimod " I should like to know my lol d, who is (ho witiune 111 thu OHIO, j ou or I?" Tho judge smiled and tin witm SR wont on with hor story without further interruption
PQLIOP INTI Hi'i KI !>cr -A North Carolinian, unnojod by two men outaido disputing, quietly got out of bed and shot both doad, thoa wrapped the drapery of his couch about him, and lay down to pleasant dreams, which wore rudely disturbed b\ two policemen Ho says holllouvo tho Stute if Ina BlumborB ure to bo broken in tins way
A " Riama " PHENOMENON.-A Bohoolmastor thoothir sido of tho Tweed, who took groat pleuBuro m giving moral udvicn, once uddroBsed IIIB pupils in lho following terms " Noo, my good buirna, there's unither lnstunco o' tho frailties o' human tinturo, it's juiat une o' yer am BchulomntuB, 11 fino wee hit luasio, who gao'd to her bod bulo un' wool last nicht, un' arose a corpio
tina mornin' "
"BuiTAit, SAH1'-An umusing colloquy cum« oir at a suppoi table on board a Missis- sippi Bteumbnut, betwion a Chicago 01 |Uisite, reeking with oil and cologne, who une cursing tho wuitcrB, usBuiiung very consequential mrs, und u ruw Jonuthun »tutod by his side, droseod 111 homespun lurning to tho vulgar friond, the former pointed with Ins piwollod finger and s iid " Buttah, Bali '" " Yes, I BOO it is," cool ly replied Jonnthnn " Buttah, sall, I »ay," fiercely rcpoutod tho dandy " Yea, sir , I know it very good, and a first rato article " "Buttah, I tell jou," thundered tho dandy in still louder tones, us if ho would unmhiluto him " W eil goali ull Jcrusalom, what of it '" now yelled 'ho down eUBtor, getting his dunder up in turn. 1 You don't think 1 took it for lard, did you P _ou must bo un ovcrluBtiug fool, aid drat you, if you don't shut up your jaw, I'll butter ray lists and ( ram them down your inferna] throat. If you don't hush up I'll got mad, do you hear."
IHP LBNOTO OP PASTING -An old lady hailed a passing omnibus, which pulled up at hor call " Good bye, then, my dear," said she to a female friend who had accompanied hor. " I'll write and toll you how I got on directly I've got there You'vo got my nddreps, havn't you ? No' why, I thought I gave it to you It's in this bag I Biippoao, under my pocket handkerchief, and my kojs, and my packet of sandwiches Oh, I'll como to it directly I'd better givo it to you now else, whon I write, I may forget to send it 1 hat's not it, ia it? No, that's the prescription There -thero you aro . And you won't forget to write? If you soo MrB Brown you must romombor mo kindly Sho's a sweet woman, isn't she ? And to flunk sho should bo married to Buch a brute! But that's tho way of tho world, all over It's |uat like my poor dear dead Meter Maria, she WOB as meek as a limb nover did a bad thing, nor said a bad word of anybody, that I over heard of Drut that 'buBman's impudeuco ' if ho hasn't driven on »gain ' Now I shall have to wait for tbo next."
ENJOYING LIPP -It is singular to what an extent people bcliovo happinees depends on not being obliged to work Girls aro considered woll married if thoir huabunda aro wealth), and boys considered provided for, if enough can ba loft thom for support, and onough Burplue to plav " buBinoBB" with Boah' HonOBt, hearty, contented labor 11 the only sourco of happiness, ae well aB tbo gunranty of life Tho gloom of misanthropy is not only a great destroyer of liappincBe wo might have, but it tends to destroy life itself Idleness and luxury induce prema- ture decay much faster than mans trades re- garded as the most exhaustive a^d fatal to longovity Labor in general, matead of short- ening the term of life, actually increases it. It la lack of occupation that actual'y deatrovs BO many of the wealthy, who havo nothing to do but plav the part of drones, and hko them make a speedy exit, while tbo busy beo fills out its day in usefulness and honor.-Boston Journal,